The “Regina Highway” Takes The Slow Road


New stop sign before the bridge in Regina Dominican’s parking lot

Regina Trejo, Music Editor

Several changes have been made in the Regina Dominican parking lot. New speed bumps have been added, more stop signs have been placed in the parking lot, and a new gate placed at the west end of the lot, which is only open for a brief time before school.

Regina Dominican is situated between Wilmette’s Ramona Elementary School and Wilmette’s Junior High School. Unfortunately, many parents used the parking lot as an alternate street. Regina Dominican’s administration met with those at Ramona Elementary School and Wilmette Junior High School to discuss the on-going safety concerns. Each of the Wilmette school boards supported the closing of the Ramona exit during the daytime to reduce the amount of people who used Regina’s parking lot as a pass-through.

The old speed bumps were bolted to the ground, which made snow removal very difficult during the winter months. The speed bumps would have to be removed each winter so ice would not build up on the bumps, which defeated the purpose of having speed bumps in the first place.

When the parking lot is used as a go-through, many cars speed through. The Regina maintenance men had almost been hit numerous times because of the speeding cars. The new and bright yellow speed bumps are permanent, made of cement, and built directly on the ground and will certainly deter speeding.

Additionally, the placement of the new stop signs include a thick painted white strip on the pavement. The wide strips are there to serve as an added visual to ensure that drivers really will stop. New ten miles-per-hour signs have also been added to the parking lot.

Supervising the project is Suzanne Lefevre, Vice President of Finance and Operations at Regina Dominican. Lefevre stated that the key reason for all the changes was for safety and the prevention of accidents. She says, “We didn’t want an accident to force us into safety.” 

“We didn’t want an accident to force us into safety.””

— Mrs. Suzanne Lefevre

Although the parking lot changes were made for safety reasons, many of the Regina girls oppose them.

Julia Graehling ’16 along with Bella D’Agostino ’17, said that the new speed bumps bottom out their cars and have even scratched them. This, after repetitive action, can damage their car’s undercarriage. However, they did note that their average speed going over the speed-bumps was roughly 15 mph.

How fast do Regina girls go over speed bumps? Some students follow Julia and Bella’s 15 miles-per-hour, but other students say they go over the speed bumps almost at a dead stop. According to NPR’s old segment, Car Talk, the car experts say it is safest to go over speed bumps as slow as possible so to not jolt the suspension of your vehicle. When you ride slowly over a speed bump, your car has the ability to absorb shock and minimize the damage to your car.

Colette Cooney ’17 stated that the new safety precautions created confusion with parking. Because Cooney used to park next to one of the old speed bumps, which was taken out to be replaced, she did not know where to park and had a hard time trying to read the parking space numbers. This coincides with the fact that the numbers and lines in the parking lot have faded so much. This problem will not be addressed until  summertime when there are very few cars in the parking lot.

The new safety additions to the parking lot are not only helpful, but have become a common topic of conversation in the hallways of Regina Dominican High School.